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The Richest Men in Sports

The Richest Men in Sports

Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer features prominently as the 18th richest on the newest Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans, but he isn’t the only sports figure on the big list.

This year’s Forbes 400 list numbers many of the names familiar to sports fans. Topping the list is Microsoft founder Bill Gates with an $81 billion fortune. Financier Warren Buffet comes in at number two at $67 billion. There are other tech giants, oil men, and retail owners, too. But this year figures in sports feature prominently in the list.

The richest man in sports turns out to be Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and his $22 billion fortune making him the 18th-richest American.

Next up comes Nike owner Phil Knight. With his $20 billion fortune, Knight has become a major part of the sports scene with his famed gym shoe company. He now ranks as the 23rd-richest American.

Sports Illustrated notes many of the other sports figures on the list:

Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen (#26), another former Microsoft executive, is worth $17.1 billion. Los Angeles Kings owner Philip Anschutz (#41, $10.9 Billion), Miami Heat owner Micky Arison (#75, $6.6 billion), Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross (#85, $6 billion) and St. Louis Rams and Denver Nuggets owner Stanley Kroenke (#89, $5.7 billion) also are on the list.

NFL owners on the list include: Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones (#117, $4.2 billion), Robert Kraft of the New England Patriots (#122, $4 billion), Baltimore Ravens owner Stephen Bisciotti (#235, $2.6 billion), Houston Texans owner Robert McNair (#261, #2.4 billion) and Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank (#284, $2.2 billion).

By comparison, Michael Jordan, still one of America’s most famous sports figures, recently jumped into the billionaire category with his earnings from the Charlotte Hornets added to his fortune. The players, as Jordan has undoubtedly figured out, don’t make as much as their payers. 

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at


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